​Prof Alex Sia, CEO, KKH and Dr Ang Seng Bin, Chairman, AMKFSC, present a token of appreciation to guest-of-honour, Mr Sam Tan (right), Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Social and Family Development.

 

In June 2018, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) and AMKFSC Community Services Ltd (AMKFSC), with support from Temasek Foundation Cares (TFC) and Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), organised Singapore’s first Integrated Child Health and Social Congress to enhance awareness of the early formative years of a child’s life, and the importance of cross-sector coordination of services and collaboration in the delivery of services to support children from vulnerable families.

Themed Building the Child beyond Neurons for a Resilient Nation, the two-day congress was graced by Mr Sam Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Social and Family Development, and brought together more than 200 professionals from the health, social and early childhood sectors to discuss the importance of the first thousand days of life and mitigating the impact of adverse childhood experiences to influence positive outcomes.

“This congress is a significant milestone in our efforts to reach out to professionals serving the health, social and early childhood sectors. Each of these sectors are equally important and instrumental in providing a holistic, integrated and coordinated approach to support children from vulnerable families in enhancing the chances of better outcomes,” shares Associate Professor Winnie Goh, Senior Consultant, Division of Medicine, KKH.

​A/Prof Winnie Goh, Programme Lead, KIDS 0-3 programme and Senior Consultant, Division of Medicine, KKH, shares about the KIDS 0-3 programme.

 

EARLY OUTCOMES FROM THE KIDS 0-3 PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED

A highlight of the congress was the early outcomes of the KKH-led Temasek Foundation Cares Kids Integrated Development Service 0-3 (KIDS 0-3) programme, shared by A/Prof Goh, who also leads the programme.

Led by KKH, in partnership with AMKFSC, and funded by TFC, the programme was piloted in July 2014 to optimise the developmental potential of young children from vulnerable families through a multi-layered and integrated community health and social care support system. It includes home visitations and centre-based activities coordinated by a cross-sector, multidisciplinary team. The programme has, to date, supported 150 pairs of mother and child.

 

 

 

From July 2016, the KIDS 0-3 programme has also received funding support from ECDA under the KidSTART pilot, so that more children are able to benefit from the home visitation programme. “These encouraging results are a nod to the community capabilities that we have built to support vulnerable families and bring about better outcomes for their children,” says A/Prof Goh.

“Moving forward, we will continue to recruit more mothers and families into the programme, and consolidate the services and support provided to these vulnerable families.”

“We will also ensure that as the child reaches the age of three, an individualised transition plan is in place to connect families in the programme to other existing services in the community. This will enable integration of the children into preschools and kindergartens.”